On The Spot
We seem to have a lot of fruit in the house these days. Our 20 month old daughter just can't get enough, so we keep things well stocked. I don't mind since I like to use fruit in my still life paintings and it's nice to have lots of models to choose from. For today's painting, I grabbed some of the many plums we have along with the last apple and pear. This is the first traditional still life arrangement I've tried with this square format. It presents some interesting compositional challenges. I kept finding that I had edges falling on the center mark if I wasn't careful. To avoid this, I used my view finder that has hash marks on the center to constantly view my arrangement and make adjustments. Once I was happy with my set up, I was able to start painting. I have to warn you, my camera battery died half way into this painting today so the demo is going to be a little short. Sorry...
Here's the arrangement, more or less from the angel I was viewing it at. Like all the other challenge paintings so far, I painted this from life and this photo it just to give you an idea of what I was seeing.
My initial drawing stage. This is just some very thin oil paint pushed around with a brush and paper towel. I don't use very much color at this stage as I'm mostly concerned with getting the placement of the objects correct. Once I'm happy with this, I let the painting dry for a few minutes. This lets the turpentine evaporate and the canvas is more or less totally dry when I start to paint again. By doing this, I avoid getting my next layer of color to thinned from the turp's on the canvas.
Now I start to lay down some color. Nothing is at its final stage yet. I'm just trying to work out some value changes and get some basic color down. Right after I took this photograph, I scraped off the pear and most of the blue paint behind it. I felt the color was starting to get a little muddy. Rather than add clean color on top of the muddy color, I wanted to remove it first.
Here you can get a better idea of how I worked on this. Notice the plum on the right just has some basic color right now and the objects I started with are now a little more complete. It's sort of a 2 steps forward, one step back approach. I block in an object or two, then go back and refine what I have painted before. I continue in this manner until I'm happy with the whole painting. Right after I took this photograph, my camera battery died. It takes a few hours to charge and I didn't have the time to wait before finishing this painting, so I pushed on.
Here is the completed painting once more:
On The Spot
Larger Version available here
Size: 6x6 inches on canvas panel.
Medium: Original Oil Painting
Signed on front. Signed and dated on back.